Northeastern defeated Hofstra in the 2019 Colonial Athletic Association Tournament championship game. The Pride returned the favor in the 2020 title game. In those seasons, a fierce rivalry was born. And rivalry games aren’t over until the final buzzer.
When they led by 17 at halftime and when they led by 19 with less than 18 minutes left, the Pride hadn’t dispatched Northeastern on Thursday. The Huskies never stopped coming and Hofstra withered in the late going.
The Pride needed Caleb Burgess’ layup with 1:04 left in regulation to get to overtime, and that’s where they finally fell apart in an 81-78 CAA loss at Mack Sports Complex.
Northeastern’s Shaquille Walters had nine of his 20 points, including two of his four three-pointers, as the Huskies went 5-for-7 from the floor in OT to win it. Hofstra’s Jalen Ray missed a long three-pointer from the sideline before the final buzzer.
"We probably played our best half of the year in that first 20 minutes," Hofstra acting head coach Mike Farrelly said. "We certainly followed it up with our worst half of the year . . . You can’t do that against a championship-level team like Northeastern."
Asked if there seemed to be leftover emotion from Hofstra’s title-game win last season, Isaac Kante said there was plenty of physicality and trash-talking. "It’s a rivalry — call it what it is," he added. "They took something from us two years ago. We took something from them last year."
They won’t need to wait long for a rematch. It comes Saturday at noon in Boston.
Kante had 19 points and eight rebounds and Burgess had 15 points and eight assists to lead Hofstra (6-4, 2-1). Ray added 15 points.
Jason Strong had 18 points and was critical in the second-half comeback for Northeastern (4-5, 3-0). Westbury product Tyson Walker had 11 points and nine assists.
Kante converted a three-point play for a 51-32 lead with 17:43 left and the Pride still led by 15 on Tareq Coburn’s layup with 13:22 remaining in regulation. Strong made a three-pointer to start a 22-5 run in which he had 13 points, including the last seven. His jumper with 5:09 on the clock gave the Huskies a 67-62 lead.
Hofstra was 3-for-12 shooting in the final 13 minutes and 2-for-5 in overtime.
"We have to learn to play them hard for 40 minutes," Kante said. "We can’t be happy being up 19."
Brown paces Hofstra women. JaKayla Brown scored a career-best 23 points and Hofstra shot 50% for the game as it downed Northeastern, 68-57, in a CAA women’s game at Cabot Center in Boston. Jahsyni Knight added 13 points and Jaylen Hines 10 for the Pride (4-5, 2-1). Mide Oriyomi scored 17 for the Huskies (0-5, 0-3).